maintenance, Wheaton divorce lawyersIf you are considering divorce in Illinois, you probably have many questions. One of these may be about whether or not you will be required to pay alimony, or spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance is designed to help financially support a lesser-earning spouse after a divorce. While spousal maintenance is awarded less often now than it was in the past, there is still a possibility you will be required to make spousal maintenance payments. Read on to learn about alimony laws in Illinois, as well as how recent federal tax law changes can affect the amount of alimony spouses pay and receive.

Spousal Support Basics

Spousal maintenance, or spousal support, can often be a contentious issue during a divorce. Courts examine many factors when deciding whether or not a spousal maintenance order is appropriate. When making spousal support decisions, Illinois courts typically consider:

  • Any existing premarital or prenuptial agreements between the parties;
  • The standard of living established during the marriage;
  • How long the marriage lasted;
  • Each party’s property and income including retirement and disability income;
  • The age and health of each party;
  • Each party’s present and future earning capacity;
  • Contributions each party made to the marriage including contributions made as a homemaker or stay-at-home-parent;
  • Contributions that one spouse made to the advancement of the other spouse’s education or career;
  • How long it will take the party requesting support to gain suitable education, training, and employment;
  • Tax consequences of spousal maintenance options; and
  • Other factors that the court believes are fair and pertinent.

How Recent Changes in Tax Law Affect Spousal Support

Previous to the recent passage of the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, spousal maintenance payers were able to claim maintenance payments as a deduction on annual tax returns. The spouse receiving alimony was obligated to report maintenance received as taxable income. Now, spousal maintenance payers do not receive a deduction, and maintenance recipients will no longer report payments as taxable income.

Many worry about the financial implications of this change. The previous tax deduction helped offset the net cost of maintenance payments. Without this deduction, many maintenance payers are subject to higher taxation, which will likely limits the amount of maintenance some payer spouses can afford. Consequently, some recipient spouses may receive much less in maintenance payments each month.

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois Divorce Lawyer

For help with spousal maintenance and other aspects of your Illinois divorce, contact a knowledgeable and experienced DuPage County spousal support attorney from Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath, LLC. To schedule a consultation, call 630-665-2500 and speak to a member of our team today.



Posted in Spousal Maintenance | Tagged , , , , , |

property, DuPage County divorce attorneysIf you are considering divorce, you probably have several questions and concerns. One of these may the question of how your property, assets, and debts will be split between you and your spouse. In an Illinois divorce, marital property and debt are divided according to “equitable distribution” laws. Of course, determining exactly what is equitable is not always easy, and many factors go into asset division decisions.

Only Marital Property is Divided

During an Illinois divorce, the only property which is subject to division is marital, or shared property. At first glance, it may seem easy to distinguish marital property from separate, or non-marital property. The marital estate, as it is called, generally includes property acquired during the marriage and separate property includes assets which the spouses owned prior to getting married. However, there are many exceptions to these generalizations. Certain gifts and inheritances acquired during the marriage are still considered separate property. However, if separate property is comingled, or mixed, with maritirel property, the funds or property may all be considered marital. For example, if a husband receives an inheritance from a deceased relative during the marriage, this is likely separate property. However, if he then uses these funds to pay for combined expenses, the whole amount may be considered marital property during divorce.

Illinois Divides Property Equitably, Not Necessarily Evenly

Some states divide marital property 50-50 during divorce. However, Illinois takes a different approach. Illinois uses a method called equitable distribution to determine how assets and debt should be divided during a divorce. Many factors are considered by the court in order to determine the most reasonable and fair division of assets. These factors include, but are not limited to:

  • Each spouse’s contribution to the marital estate, including non-financial contributions made by a spouse as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent;
  • Any dissipation (wasting or hiding) of assets;
  • The value of both marital and non-marital property assigned to each spouse;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • The employability and financial circumstances of each spouse;
  • Any child support or spousal maintenance (alimony) from prior relationships;
  • Any valid prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement;
  • The mental and physical health of each spouse;
  • Child custody (allocation of parental responsibility) decisions;
  • Spousal maintenance (alimony) decisions; and
  • Tax consequences of property division.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Attorney

For more information about asset division during an Illinois divorce, contact the experienced Wheaton divorce and family law lawyers at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC. We can work with you to determine the best course of action for your unique circumstances. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a consultation today.



Posted in DIvision of Property, Divorce | Tagged , , , , , |

gray divorce, Wheaton divorce lawyersMore and more older couples are getting divorced in the United States. The divorce rate for people aged 50 and over has doubled since 1990, and more than doubled for those over the age of 65. There are several reasons that may explain why so called “gray divorce” is becoming more common. Firstly, there is far less stigma surrounding divorce than there was even just a few decades ago. Just as younger people do, older individuals want to pursue the life that makes them fulfilled and happy. Sometimes, this means ending a marriage. Gray divorce can come with significant complications, however, and it is critical that those getting divorced at an advanced age educate themselves about what to expect.

Spousal Support Is Often Ordered When a Long-Term Marriage Ends

Illinois courts consider several factors when making spousal maintenance (alimony) decisions. These factors include:

  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Income and property of each party;
  • Present and future earning capacity of each party;
  • Any Impairment to a spouse’s present/future earning capacity;
  • Whether or not the party seeking spousal maintenance can become self-supporting;
  • Standard of living established during the marriage;
  • Health, ages, income, and employability of each spouse;
  • Any contributions a spouse makes to the other’s education or career;
  • Tax consequences; and
  • Any other relevant factors.

Divorcing couples are encouraged to make their own decisions about spousal support. If a couple cannot come to an agreement about spousal maintenance payments, the court will make these decisions for the couple. According to the law in Illinois, the court may only award spousal support if there is a valid reason to do so. Each case is handled on an individual basis.

Property Division Can Be Complex

Often, older people or those who have been married long periods of time have greater assets than younger divorcing couples. As with spousal support, couples are encouraged by Illinois courts to divide their property on their own. Courts will intervene if a divorcing couple cannot agree to how they will divide marital property. In Illinois, dividing a couple’s marital assets and liabilities falls under the concept of equitable distribution. Complex assets like family business, stock options, real estate and bank accounts, cars and other vehicles, life insurance policies, retirement plans, pensions, stock options, restricted stock, deferred compensation, and brokerage accounts can significantly complicate a divorce.

Contact a Wheaton, Illinois Divorce Lawyer

If you have further questions about an Illinois divorce, contact the experienced DuPage County divorce lawyers at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a consultation today. We can provide the guidance and representation you need.


Posted in Divorce, Grey Divorce | Tagged , , , , , , |